Australia’s national carrier Qantas will ban unvaccinated travelers from international flights, CEO Alan Joyce reaffirmed this week.
“Qantas will have a policy that internationally we’ll only be carrying vaccinated passengers,” he said, predicting the move will take place by December when the country reopens its borders.
“Because we think that’s going to be one of the requirements to show that you’re flying safe and getting into those countries. We’re hoping that can happen by Christmas,” he added.
In November, Joyce revealed the airline’s intention to bar unvaccinated travelers from international flights.
“We are looking at changing our terms and conditions to say for international travelers, that we will ask people to have a vaccination before they can get on the aircraft,” he told Channel 9’s A Current Affair in November:
— A Current Affair (@ACurrentAffair9) November 23, 2020
At the time, Joyce did not definitively say if vaccines would be required for domestic travelers, stating that the company will evaluate “what happens with COVID-19 in the market, but certainly for international visitors coming out, and people leaving the country, we think that’s a necessity.”
“I’ve been talking with my colleagues at other airlines around the globe, and I think that’s going to be a common theme across the board,” he added.
Joyce repeated the vaccination warning in March this year, as Breitbart News reported.
The announcement follows the airline’s announcement of mandatory vaccination for its staff, which will affect approximately 22,000 people.
“We think everybody should be protecting themselves, but we also have a requirement to protect our colleagues and our passengers. And then there’s also a requirement to protect the community,” Joyce said.
Australia’s government closed its borders to almost all foreigners in February, 2020, and has also periodically closed internal borders even as other countries like the U.S. allow travel but with certain restrictions in place.
Meanwhile, in the United States, President Joe Biden is attempting to crack down on vaccine mandates.
He is expected to sign an executive order requiring all federal employees and contractors to get the jab while leaving virtually no alternative for the unvaccinated.